By V4 Agency
More than a thousand illegal migrants have made landfall in Lampedusa in the course of a single day. Matteo Salvini initiated an extraordinary meeting with the interior minister, the Brothers of Italy party said illegal migration at sea must be stopped as part of a joint effort with North African authorities.
As temperatures rise and good weather is approaching, the number of illegal migrants arriving at Italy by sea appears to be increasing. On Sunday around a thousand migrants made landfall on the island of Lampedusa, and authorities began testing and moving them to reception centres. Quarantine vessels, used earlier for quartering and shipping them away, are no longer available, as the last ship left the island last week with 446 migrants on board. The island’s hotspots, however, can only receive 250 migrants, so 200 non-EU citizens are scheduled to be transported by ferry to the reception camp in Ragusa on Monday morning, in order to relieve Lampedusa, il Giornale reports.
“I have to meet Prime Minister Mario Draghi. We cannot deal with the more than 12,000 illegal immigrants who have arrived in Italy in 2021, as long as Italian citizens themselves are in difficulty. We agreed with Minister Lamorghese that we will take inventory of the problems and the possible solutions,” Lega party chief Matteo Salvini tweeted.
Talking about the mass arrivals, Giorgia Meloni emphasized that “we do not want to get used to this kind of news.” We must put an end to illegal immigration by countering human smugglers and NGOs engaged in facilitating immigration. We call on [Interior] Minister Lamorgese to introduce a sea blockade without delay,” the leader of the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia, Fdl) party demanded on social media
The new arrivals were transferred to a reception centre where volunteers began their testing for Covid, the mayor of Lampedusa said. “We hope to receive additional quarantine ships as soon as possible. I’ve been saying for some time that with good weather coming, the number of new arrivals will increase,” the mayor told RaiNews24 news portal.”We need an immigration mechanism that protects Lampedusa and its community, and Brussels must also take responsibility, as Lampedusa lies on the European Union’s external frontier,” the mayor added.